Why you should be telling stories

Reading time:
3mn

Did you hear about that guy?  Yeah, you know the one, started selling clothes he designed from the back of a truck in Ibiza  and then they were picked up by the club kids because no one else knew them like he knew them, and his patterns were like the life they were leading.  

You want to know more right?  You might know the guy already, Thomas Meyer, he started Desigual one of Spain’s largest and most successful fashion brands and ask anyone about Desigual and chances are they will tell you this story.

Modern consumers have highly attuned bullshit detectors. But what no one can resist is a good story. 

Because people like telling stories.

This particular story IS the brand.  It communicates everything the brand want you to know, they are fun, hip, ever young and exciting and it’s a rags to riches story too.  

Modern consumers are wise to marketing methods, they can sniff out manipulation, false sentiment and have highly attuned bullshit detectors.

But what no one can resist, because that is how we all communicate, is a good story.  It is the most powerful marketing tool available and if you aren’t telling a good story then you are missing out.

Why should you use stories?

 

Remember being a kid?

Stories at bedtime, fairy tales, Harry Potter, Star Wars, make believe, dressing up, iconic TV shows?  We learn to communicate via stories because they are interesting. They make us want to know about the characters involved, care for them and want to know what happens next?

And who did we trust?  We trusted those telling us the stories. Our parents, JK Rowling, narrators gain trust because story telling is intimate.  Stories engage like no other medium.

There are plenty of scientific studies that prove this, one even involves doctors inventing a fictional story about a patient called Frank to teach a dry statistical class– once the students heard the story of Frank they were much more likely to recall the information at a later date because the story was so engaging (see you want to know more about Frank…stories also bring cliffhangers, you want to know more -  a call to action before we ever had the term..)

Remember being a kid? We trusted those telling us the stories. Our parents, JK Rowling, stories engage like no other medium.

The reason social influencers are so successful is because people buy into their stories.  It’s personal and people as social animals relate to that.

 

MAKE IT ABOUT YOU

Sometimes I hear people say this, “Phil I don’t  think I have a story to tell.”

Er, step away from the screen, right now, go for walk around the office, apartment, beach, wherever, wow I hope it’s a beach for your sakes, go and grab a coffee and come back when I’ve calmed down a little.

You had an idea, you have a business, you’re thinking to starting a business.  YOU HAD A DREAM.

Tell me about your dream.  I want to know.  Be personal, it’s about you.  The best examples of storytelling marketing work in the same way as a novel, movie, your favourite video game, they make us root for the characters.

If you can add humour and or drama or high emotion then go for it.  At TC we love crafting stories from our client’s experiences.  We want to hear your story and we can help you tell it.

I have a client.  She was a florist. She told me she didn’t have a story to tell, she just sold flowers.  What?  No story, are you kidding me, every week she makes people’s weddings come alive with colours, her products are pure emotion and then she told me she had become a florist because her previous job with the Metropolitan police had become too stressful after she narrowly being missed being blown up by a bomb.  Just a florist…

TRUST ME– you have a story to tell.  

DATA - YAWN

Whoa, I can hear you shout.  Data you’ve been talking about stories and now you are mentioning data what gives?

Here’s the skinny.

A story without data will work.

Data without a story not so much.

A story with data will bring you the best results.  Check out these 3 examples:

A  former armed police protection officer gave it all up to become a florist.

People who buy flowers once a week are 22% more likely to report satisfaction than those who do not reports poll.

In the week that scientists report buying flowers once a week can make you happier find out how Pam Barnes, a former firearms officer gave up chasing terrorists and drug lords to become a florist and share her happiness.

Yeah, tell me more about Pam please.

 

TELL US YOUR STORY

We get that it is easier said than done. Crafting a narrative, making it pop, making people laugh, smile, want to know more, can be tricky.  Hell, if it was that easy we could all write the next Harry Potter.

But there are things that you should be doing.  Focus on the personal, add data where it enhances the story and above all make it your story.  Your business is made up of individuals and your story belongs to no one else.  

The world wants to hear it.


Phil Kurthausen
Words and stories

Phil is the storyteller at Takeaway Content. He is a writer, journalist & lawyer and the guy who will use word magic to entrance and engage your customers.

Phil Kurthausen
Words and stories

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